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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MDT


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials have reported 298 additional known COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 30,296 cases with 890 deaths. The additional cases reported Saturday included 75 in Bernalillo County, 67 in Dona Ana County, 32 in Chaves County, 22 in Lea County and 20 in Curry County. The three deaths occurred one each in Bernalillo, Curry and Dona Ana counties and involving people in their 70s or 80s with underlying conditions.


LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) — Officials say a Border Patrol agent shot at a vehicle involved in human smuggling after the driver attempted to strike the agent as he attempted to stop the vehicle on a southwestern New Mexico highway. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection statement said the vehicle drove off and that the Border Patrol and local authorities were trying to locate its driver. No suspect description was released and there was no immediate indication whether the gunfire wounded the driver. The statement said agent was not injured in the incident that e incident occurred Friday night along State Route 80.


ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Demand for flights in New Mexico's Albuquerque International Sunport are low compared to normal, but there has been a gradual increase in travelers since April. In August, passenger numbers were down 77% from the same time in 2019. Now, traffic is down 71% from the same time last year, with about 4,800 travelers every day. A flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City returned to the Albuquerque airport recently. The route was canceled in May when traffic at the New Mexico airport was down 90% from the same time last year.


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Sarah La Morena, an African American woman raised by a Mexican immigrant family, has generated excitement with her interpretation of regional Mexican music. Born in Southern California but raised in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, 23-year-old Sarah Palafox has sparked many emotions following a series of viral videos on social media. One clip of Palafox singing with mariachis spawned a half of million views on Instagram. But Palafox also has been to the target of a racist backlash online over her love of Mexican music. Palafox told The Associated Press she is set to release an album and is focusing on the positive reaction to her music.


NEW YORK (AP) — Two former U.S. health officials tell AP that Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the nation's top disease control agency to use its emergency powers to effectively seal the borders against immigrants and asylum seekers over the objections of its scientists. Three people with direct knowledge of the situation say a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doctor had refused to comply with the Trump administration directive. Then Pence ordered CDC Director Robert Redfield to approve the order. So far it has caused nearly 150,000 children and adults to be expelled from the country.


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A Republican candidate in a closely watched U.S. House race in Southern New Mexico has amended a campaign finance report after receiving a donation credited to a woman who had died. Yvette Herrell's campaign says the $2,800 donation from Joanne Harvard in June was due to a software glitch after her son and widowed husband also donated. Harvard died in April 2017. Her son, Jeff Harvard of the Harvard Petroleum Company, said it was his fault and not done on purpose. The campaign later attributed to the correct family member. Herrell is locked in a tight race with Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected an initial request to ease pandemic-related occupancy limits for in-person instruction at private schools in New Mexico, in a setback for a complaint supported by the U.S. Justice Department. In a Friday order, U.S. District Court Judge William Johnson rebuffed the complaint from the father of a seventh grade prep school student in Albuquerque who claimed restrictions aimed at social distancing are more severe at private schools than public ones. Johnson noted that some private schools have managed to reboot in-person teaching despite a 25% room occupancy limit, and that 7-12 grade public school students are still cut off from in-person learning.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — A new PBS film on the Latino voting bloc examines the rise of potentially the largest electorate of color in the U.S. The VOCES/PBS documentary "Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground" is scheduled to begin airing on most PBS stations Tuesday and seeks to investigate how Latino voters see the 2020 Election. The film is told using a series of immersive dispatches from the battleground states of Nevada, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. It follows left-leaning progressives and Latino evangelicals. Director Bernardo Ruiz says she wanted to focus directly on the Hispanic organizers and voters who may determine the nation's political future.